Monday, October 08, 2007


It was desert-hot this Sabbath, breaking another century-long record for the high by four degrees. Fortunately St. Luke’s decided to go for broke and cooled the church down to 70. It heated up fast in the chancel, it being a small chancel, packed with the choir, acolytes, chalice bearers and clergy, and higher than the rest of the congregation, but still it was not so hot that I needed my fan.

We sang “Look Down on Me”, a sweet 17th-century anthem by William Byrd, and chanted the psalm for the day to beautiful effect. I read the first lesson, a prophetic utterance of Habakkuk’s about the end times. John A, a choir member and also the Senior Warden of the Vestry, preached a lay sermon on giving, as it is pledge time again. All in all, it was a most enjoyable service. Meanwhile Mick cleaned house, as is his Sunday morning habit.

We rendezvoused for lunch and a movie, starting, but not finishing, "The TV Set", a comedy about getting a pilot of a comedy sitcom on the air. About an hour into it, Mick asked if I was into it, which I was not, and we decided not to watch the rest, so I don’t know if David Duchovny’s character got his show on the air or not. There was nothing wrong with the film, exactly. Sigourney Weaver was marvelously killing as a TV executive whose manipulations are dressed in wide-eyed innocence and fueled by acid reflux and Duchovny was excellent as well. The show just limped.

We decided to treat ourselves to ice cream instead of watching the rest of the film. Then we drove around, checking the lawns Mick is to cut or not to cut tomorrow (mostly NOT) before coming home and diving into the second feature of the day, a grimy, sad movie called "Even Money".

We did watch this one to the end, largely because we both fell asleep, not at the same time, so we could not have a conversation about whether to bag it. It had solid worth in its ensemble. The problem for me is the subject. It was, as the title suggests, about the woes of gambling addiction. I am indifferent to gambling for money. I ritually put a coin in a slot machine when I am in Vegas and lose it. Whoopee. That simply does not seem like fun to me. And certainly it did not end up being fun for Forest Whitaker or Danny DeVito, who suffered either maiming or death by the end of the film. Kim Basinger was remarkably good in her performance as an ungrateful, unlikable character who lies and steals in order to lose money, as were Tim Roth, Kelsey Grammer and DeVito and Whitaker.

Jim had two kitties on his lap, Pickwick and Chloe, and so stayed in place and napped for a time after that before rising to do a few household chores. I enjoyed my Sunday round of solitaire.

Then we watched the brilliant, luminous, complex film, "The Couple", our decided hit for the day. It was a story of how a Jewish industrialist with enormous culture and wealth, played by Martin Landau, bargains with the Nazis to exchange all of his worldly goods, including a castle and a vast art collection, for safe passage to Switzerland for himself and his extended family, plus the couple who serve as their butler and maid. I recommend this film highly. The shadowy cinematography and haunting music underscored an artistic conception that rang with integrity and sang with subtlety.

In the middle of the film, we had our supper. Afterwards, we sat for the Gaia Meditation and Mick offered the closing prayer. We called Mick’s Mom and then just hung out with the kitties until bedtime at 11 PM.